Graduates, don’t rush. You don’t have to have it all figured out.
I don’t know who told you that you had to, but they are wrong. In fact, the people who told you this don’t have it all figured out for themselves either.
Go to school they said. Get good grades they said. Get a good job they said. That’s the way to live a good life. Bullshit.
I take great issue with the fact that our society demands that children make decisions about what they want to study in school, where they want to go to school and ultimately what they want to do for work. I had to make this decision at age 17, at a time when I barely had a clue about anything. I hadn’t done any real screwing up. Hell, I hadn’t even had my first drink.
But I decided. And the decision was wrong. I got kicked out of my college program because of bad grades. I went to summer school and got everything back on track to get re-admitted in time for the fall semester. I finished school and got a job right after graduation.
This lead to 12 years of being in the wrong work.
So it pains me when I see kids stressed about having to figure out what they want to do with their lives. With the rest of their lives. Teenagers are anxious to make a decision that will put the wheels in motion for the next 50 years of their lives.
Your youth is the time to really figure out where your interests lie. It is the time to test the waters.
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Do volunteer work for organizations that you feel drawn to.
Take interesting courses that have nothing to do with what you think your work is going to be.
Travel. See the world. Taste foods in the countries they actually come from. Immerse yourself in a culture that isn’t yours.
Take a part-time job for an organization that you think you’d want to work for. Notice if the work speaks to your soul. If it doesn’t, that’s okay. But if it kills your soul, leave for something else.
Make older friends. Ask them about career and life and family. Ask them why they do what they do and if it has brought them happiness.
Network and hang out with new and interesting people. Have deep and meaningful discussions. Be opinionated. Debate things and learn to disagree with grace.
Do things that your high school or college friends might think is “uncool”. What they think doesn’t matter anyway.
Learn how to say no. If it doesn’t serve you or doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to do it.
Fall in love with yourself. It’s the longest, most meaningful relationship you’ll ever have.
Slow down and enjoy every. Single. Moment. There is no rush. You may think you’re on the right track and stay there until your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s only to realize it’s not where you’re meant to be.
And that’s okay. It will always be okay.
Resume Writer | LinkedIn Consultant | Job Search Strategist